How to treat recurrent Rectal cancerRectal cancer: stage 0

During this stage, the location of the tumor is just on the inner rectum lining and surgery is the most preferred form of treatment. The tumor itself might be removed or just a small rectum section. The doctor might also consider radiation therapy that is given either internally or externally. This stage of rectal cancer is very curable as the cancer is less advanced and thus less serious or aggressive.

Rectal cancer: stage I

When your rectal cancer is in stage I, there is really no cause of alarm as such since the cancer is still in its early stages. However, unlike in the first stage, the tumor will have broken through the rectum’s inner lining but not yet advanced beyond the muscular wall. The first treatment recommended in this stage is surgery where the tumor is removed. For people who are sick, old or in case the tumor is just small, radiation alone is used for treating the tumor but this form of treatment is less effective compared to surgery. To enhance the effectiveness of the radiation, chemotherapy could also be added as well.

Rectal cancer: Stage II

This stage is a little bit more advanced and the tumor will have penetrated via the wall of the bowel and invade other organs such as the prostate gland, bladder or uterus. This stage won’t have involved lymph nodes and surgery could be done to eradicate all the affected organs. Alternatively, radiation may also be done with chemotherapy to combat the cancerous cells fully.

Rectal cancer: Stage III

This stage is characterized by the tumor having spread to lymph nodes and treatment includes surgical operation for removing the tumor, radiation after or before surgery with chemotherapy and if elected, chemotherapy could also be done after surgery.

Rectal cancer: stage IV

This is the most advanced stage of rectal cancer and the cancerous cells are already spread to other distant body parts. In most cases, the cancer will metastasize to the lung or liver and the tumor could be of any size but not always very large. Chemotherapy is the main treatment mainstay, but doctors might also recommend surgery to eradicate the tumor. Surgery is actually not a curative procedure as such but mainly aims at preventing or relieving blockage of rectum as well as preventing rectal bleeding.

Recurrent Rectal cancer

After treatment, rectal cancer could also come back. It might either occur on the original site which is known as local occurrence or occur in distant organs. Surgery is recommended for removing local currencies and according to studies, this actually helps the patients to live a longer life. When surgery isn’t effective in removing the recurrences, most experts usually recommend chemotherapy.